Behaviour Change

PROPAGANDA FOR CHANGE is a project created by the students of Behaviour Change (ps359) and Professor Thomas Hills @thomhills at the Psychology Department of the University of Warwick. This work was supported by funding from Warwick's Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Just go with it

Bargaining happens every time we want to reach an agreement with someone. Big-scale or small-scale, bargaining happens in our everyday life, and understanding the psychological processes involved can provide us with huge benefits.

In the movie “Just go with it” (2011) we can find a perfect example for negotiating and bargaining. In this case, Danny, a successful surgeon, is trying to convince the children of his office assistant to pretend they are his kids in order to seduce a woman. We can distinguish several key factors for negotiation in the clip. Danny’s need to use the kids places him in a lower position, and the children take advantage of this when negotiating. Both characters have a hidden agenda that is not revealed until the end of the negotiation. This gives each one the opportunity to negotiate a better deal than their minimum set point, broadening the available alternatives discussed. This point has been labeled by Van Poucke and Buelens as the “offer zone”, which is the difference between aspiration price and initial offer (Van Poucke, & Buelens, 2002). The offer zone has a significant influence on the negotiated outcome, and results suggest that offering a flexible position increases the likelihood of successful consequences. In addition, more evidence shows that negotiators with a BATNA (best alternative to the negotiated agreement) obtain higher individual outcomes than individuals without one (Brett, Pinkley, & Jackofsky, 1996). This research concluded that an alternative coupled with a goal of self-efficacy result in a superior percent of outcomes. The negotiation concludes in a middle-ground deal, which finally ends up being more than what the children expected, but far more than what the adult surgeon could have provided.

[1] Brett, J. F., Pinkley, R. L., & Jackofsky, E. F. (1996). Alternatives to Having a BATNA in Dyadic Negotiation: The Influence of Goals, Self-Efficacy, and Alternatives on Negotiated Outcomes. International Journal of Conflict Management, Vol. 7(2), pp.121 – 138.

[2] Van Poucke, D., & Buelens, M. (2002). Predicting the outcome of a two-party price negotiation: Contribution of reservation price, aspiration price and opening offer. Journal of Economic Psychology, Volume 23(1), pp. 67-76.

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